Figuring Out What Freshwater Fish to Put in a Community Aquarium

If you are thinking about putting together a freshwater aquarium of community fish, you have some great fish to choose from. A community aquarium is one that contains more than one species of fish. Many times, the variety of fish do not occur together in nature, but you can find fish of compatible temperament and water requirements that can co-exist well. This helps to develop an aquarium full of color and interest.

What’s In a Name? Discussing Aquarium Fish Names

Right or wrong, certain names immediately bring certain expectations, whether the name refers to a fish, dog, cat, animal or human! There is something in the collective consciousness that associates a “look” or behavior with a name. Some fish rightly deserve their name, while others must suffer under the expectations that they cannot live up to. Below is a list of some of the most well known common name fish.

The Appeal of Arowanas

What is it that makes the Arowana so appealing to so many aquarium hobbyists? Is it:

  • Their shiny scaling and long, graceful fins?
  • Their expressive, large eyes?
  • Their sinuous swimming motion along the surface of the tank?
  • Their peaceful demeanor (unless they consider you food)?
  • Their ability to jump out of the water and snatch their prey from a low hanging branch?
  • Their variety of colors, available from silver to gold to red to blue/black?
  • Their ability to bring good luck and wealth to their owners?

It must be a combination of all of the above that helps explain the universal appeal of Arowanas!

The Common (or Not So Common) Plecostomus

Sooner or later, nearly all freshwater aquarium hobbyists will purchase one of the plecostomus species. This ubiquitous member of the catfish family is usually purchased to help control nuisance algae in the aquarium. Also known as a sucker-mouth catfish, the Plecostomus (Pleco for short) has the ability to flatten its mouth like a suction cup and use 100’s of small rasping teeth to scrape the algae off the rocks and even the glass of the aquarium.

Using Feeder Fish for the Pure Predator

Part of the beauty of aquarium keeping is learning about all the different habitats of the fish you can keep: where they come from, the types of water parameters they prefer, and their nutritional requirements. It is this last one that sometimes re-enforces the concept of the “survival of the fittest”. While the majority of fish kept by hobbyists can be fed prepared fish foods, there are some pure predators that must have live food

Discus Overview: The King of Freshwater Fish

Originally found in the rivers of South America, the Discus (Symphysodon discus or S.heckeli) is considered the “king” of the freshwater fish by many hobbyists. Up until the early 80’s, nearly all Discus were captive caught and considered fairly difficult to keep, requiring very soft water with a pH from 6.0 to 7.0 and warmer temperatures in the mid 80’s F. They were also notorious for refusing to eat most prepared aquarium foods except bloodworms and, for some reason, frozen beef heart!

Glofish: History & Care

During your last visit to the local aquarium shop, you probably found yourself spending some time watching an aquarium full of Glofish, especially if they were also illuminated with a black light. These glowing marvels cannot help but catch your eye.